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November 9, 2020

Return of attacking approach delights Olympian Ayaz

Sports

November 9, 2020

KARACHI: Member national selection committee Olympian Ayaz Mehmood has said that teams in National Hockey Championship are playing with an attacking approach which is a good sign for Pakistan hockey.

Talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday, Ayaz said that national selection committee had been trying to make all the coaches and managers of domestic teams for past two years that they must adopt the traditional attacking game that used to be the hallmark of Pakistan.

“Thanks God, we can now see the change. Strategy wise and playing wise the mindset of the players and their team management has been completely changed and they are playing attacking hockey due to which a lot of talented players at junior level have been seen,” Ayaz said.

“There will be need to polish these talented players through rigorous coaching for the highest level,” he added.

He said that in the recently concluded tray hockey championship, Punjab team proved this approach beneficial by defeating departmental teams. “It was a great victory. It was the sign of changing mindset of our players and their management,” he said.

He said that the chairman national selection committee Olympian Manzoor Junior and other members witnessed all matches of tray championship and the national championship. “All members of national selection committee are confident that the standard of our domestic hockey is totally changed,” he added.

He said that only in the goalkeeping there were some weaknesses which would be addressed.

He said that 54 matches would be played in the championship. “At a time when there is no opportunity of matches at international level because of Covid-19, it is wonderful that our players are playing so many matches,” he said.

Ayaz further said that the players performing well would be considered for the training camps of Pakistan senior and junior teams. “No one will be selected on their past performance. Only those who are now performing well will be picked,” he said.

He said that after the national championship, a series between Pakistan Whites and Pakistan Juniors would be organised, which would give the final touch to the Pakistan team ahead of Junior Asia Cup 2021 in Bangladesh.